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On “Protesting” the Election of Donald Trump
by James Como
I did not vote for the man: the extent of his ad hominem was repugnant. He is an acquired taste. So I’m still getting there (and never having been a Never Trumpite I’m sure I will). Of course, if there is any justice Hillary will learn first-hand that orange is the new black. Oh, I know that people who howl and weep and take to the streets over the election result disagree with that. They can never abide Trump and think Hillary is Wonder Woman. But remember: Obama’s coalition – the people he so openly and unprecedentedly cajoled – vastly under-performed. So, take to the streets?
Protesting what? The election was fairly conducted: no one has claimed otherwise. So then, protesting . . . the results? That’s what Fascists do: an incipient version of Hitler’s 1923 Munich putsch. It is, literally, un-American. And that’s not just me talking. The morning after, the president and Hillary are the ones who counseled unity, cooperation, and “an open mind.”
To? We know the policies that got the ink, the airtime, and the hashtags. But what about the positions he was first with and with which most Dems agree? TPP is bad for the country; foreign interventions by force, especially to nation-build, is bad for the country and wrong; and we must put people back to work, certainly by restoring our infra-structure but also by enabling the middle class (of putative concern to Hillary) to start and sustain small businesses and to increase their incomes. And he won’t touch Social Security or Medicare.
For me a very mixed bag. I need other, and more, Trumpian features for re-assurance. And what do you know? He really is a deal-maker. He will at least try persuasion (far beyond Obama’s ken) and speak with the opposition, even with his party in control of the legislature. He has a substantial record of accomplishment in a dog-eat-dog field: did those projects and that fortune build themselves? And isn’t he the one – and I mean the one and only, smart and intuitive – who saw what was up with half the country and, at considerable personal expense, acted on it, defeating not only the Dems but the bigwigs in his own party?
No matter. Protestors run on emotion, as cars run on gasoline. Alas, gasoline doesn’t steer. We are entitled to our emotions, of course, but emotions do not entitle us. After all, the other side also has emotions. What? The other side? Yes, the other side: fellow citizens no less intelligent, good, or responsible than you. Condescension, self-righteousness, and the imputation of evil (or stupidity) to an opponent is the last refuge of the intellectually bankrupt – and are (or now should be) self-evidently counter-productive. It wasn’t he who insulted Herself’s followers, rather it was she who name-called, demonized and ostracized. He was disrespectful to many in many ways, but it was he who invited her supporters to join him, pronouncedly not she his. Condescension, smugness and self-righteousness seem endemic to the Left.
A more personal note, as a grandfather. I’m alarmed that the many crying, saddened children of whom I’ve heard, children who should be instructed – by parents, other care-givers and teachers – are instead being inflamed, propagandized and politicized. Children can be reasoned with and when given a chance they, too, can understand matters better with perspective than without. No, the election of Donald Trump is not the same as the horror at Sandy Hook, which I know has been suggested. In short, grown-ups shouldn’t enable tantrums. And they certainly should not throw them.
Finally a question. Many of the people who predicted Hillary’s election were wrong. The same people are predicting catastrophes owing to Trump’s victory. When those predictions prove just as wrong, will they admit as much?